Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu defended his latest critique of the Supreme Court as a hallmark of democratic discourse today.
“In a strong democracy such as ours no institution is above criticism,” Netanyahu said during a ceremony marking the start of construction for a new National Library building.
Netanyahu added: “A stable democracy does not force (demands) upon those who safeguard it. I respect the courts and the judges, and honor their decisions. It is every person’s full right; mine included, to critique those decisions. In a strong democracy, no institution is above critique…
“Our neighbors do not tolerate criticism; not of the courts and not of the government. Where criticism cannot be sounded, especially in unusual and exceptional times where it is necessary and appropriate, democracy is adversely affected. The dialogue must of course be to the point, not tempestuous, and it must enable profound discourse at all times, out of mutual respect… This is how I have operated, and this is how I will continue to operate.
“The library is the focal point of intellectual freedom. This is no trivial matter these days in the Middle East. In tyrannical regimes, the greater public is denied access to libraries, if they exist at all. Contrary to Islamic extremists who destroy cultural treasures, we safeguard our cultural treasures.”
Tazpit News Agency